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Assessing the spatial variability of soil properties to delineate nutrient management zones in smallholder maize-based system of Nigeria
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Spatially explicit information on soil variability is relevant for agronomic decisions; however, such information is limited in the northern Guinea savanna (NGS) agroecological zone of Nigeria. This study was conducted to delineate soil nutrient management zones (MZs), based on spatial variability of soils in the smallholder maize-based farming system within the NGS. Two hundred and eighty-nine soil samples were analyzed for some physical and chemical properties. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to aggregate the soil properties into four principal components, which accounted for about 60% of the variation in the data, and spatial variability was assessed with a semivariogram. The ordinary kriging technique was used to predict soil properties at unsampled locations, while weighted overlay analysis was conducted to delineate nutrient management zones. Results showed that total nitrogen (0.06%), available phosphorus (5.6 mg kg−1), organic carbon (0.66%), and effective cation exchange capacity (5.6 cmol(+) kg−1) are below optimal requirement for maize production. Four MZs were identifiable in the region with the highest fertility (MZ3 and MZ4) associated with the northern area but covering a relatively small part (9.1%). The differences observed in soil properties among the MZs suggest that each zone requires different agronomic management, especially in relation to fertilizer application.
The authors thank IITA under the auspices of the project “Taking Maize Agronomy to Scale in Africa (TAMASA)” for all the support given, especially with field operations and soil analysis. This research was carried out with funding support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Contract no. OPP1113374, Grant no.: PJ-002113).
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Permanent link to this itemhttps://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12478/7491
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